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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera  January 18, 2014 1:00am-2:01am EST

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daniel else berg, he is the co
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fonter of the proceed up of the press fountain indication which just announced edward snowden as a new board member. he is, of course the famed whistle blower who in 1971 leaked to reporters the top secret documents dubbed the pentagon papers outlining the u.s. military's roll in vietnam. great to have you on the show with us today. julien said that the president had to be dragged kicking and screaming to make the recommendations he made on friday morning. the aclu panned the speech glen greenwald who was instrumental in the snowden leaks said it was a p.r. move to knowledge identify the public. what is your opinion? >> i heard the president say he was certain this debate would strengthen us. he neglect today say thank you, edward snowden. make that was on the tell distribution vision prompter and he choked up when he said. he did say about mr. snowden who has joined our board of
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directors that he did he lowered the sensational way that this information was given out, he hated the way it was made. what exactly other way might that have come to his attention? or to our attention? there was no other way. he's talked about his whistle blower protection act which didn't go in to effect until after snowden made his disclosures. maybe he didn't know that that didn't cover snowden as a contractor. anyway, the 4nsa officials who have been saying for years that the nsa was acting unconstitutionally in this dragnet surveillance that they were carrying on, were defying the fourth amendment had said openly that they thought snowden did the right thing and they did the wrong thing by acting through the channels that the president had spoken of.
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they were persecuted what prosecuted others held at gun point on suspension. and it's a sorry sight. they said the only way this could have come for our attention is for a courageous person like mr. snowden who had action stores this information to tell it without authorization because no head of nsa was ever going to authorize the information as to how long and how greatly this institution has been violating our constitution. and the rights of all of our citizens. >> i want to get to edward snowden in a moment. but first i want to -- first, there has been argument about whether it's constitutional or not. different judges have decided in different ways and the nsa panel named by the president said that they hadn't found any illegality or abuse. what reforms do you want to see -- >> if i can just say that was a rather absurd statement by the president that there had been no evidence of illegality or abuse. the fact is that the fisa judges
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themselves have written reports which have become known to us in part because of snowden that describe 10s of thousands of violations and abuses that went so far as one judge put it that the restraint might as well not have existed at all. they were simply ignoring it. he simply is not telling the truth here about what is to be found. >> what is the worst abuse in your opinion? >> i think i am sure the worst has not yet come out. as a matter of fact. it's bat enough to be taking the metta data of practically everyone in the world, which, by the way. could be scored fairly easily. tell wouldn't need to store all that digital data in bluffdale, -- in the new storage facility that they are willing as russell pointed out a former nsa whistle blower who has been saying for years now that the nsa has been lying and is lying right now when they say they collect only metadata.
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obtrusive as that is. he says they have been collecting content, not of everyone, that's too hard to store. audio content of telephones. that's why they need the bluffdale storage site for. though it on targeted groups, not just individuals, journalists, congress persons, even supreme court justices. activists groups of all kind, ties himself was involved directly in such collection. and he knows from insiders that it's going on right now. so i think what yet has to come out are the "a," the fact that they are in fact taking a lot of content, not all of it, of our audio, it was just revealed yesterday that they are taking in hundreds of millions of text messages a day, that's all content. that's not meta data the president ignored that. >> but from nor e foreign sourc. >> that kind of collection is certain to give rise to and i feel it has already given rise
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to abuses. >> the text messages are supposedly not from foreign sources and not u.s. sources and there is no confirmation that they are gathering that content. if it is only meta data which is the only information confirmed at this point. why should americans care if you yourself are saying it's available, it's available through the phone company and other ways in storage, so why should americans care. >> if it's available from the telephone companies as it's turning out to the government directly that is, indeed, something to be very concerned about. the assumption was by the companies, as they have assured us that they were keeping that quite privately, each individually and they are now concerned about encrypting that information, so as to offer that privacy to their customers which they can't do yet. but february they have it themselves, their intent is to make money from it, to sales things to us from it. not to smear to centers as hoover was doing, not to manipulate activists groups. not to effect elections these
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companies do not have the power either to tax, to prosecute, to assess nate as our executive branch has actually claimed the right to do. the danger of having that in government hands is much greater than having it in corporate hands unless having it in corporate hands means giving it to the government. >> even if he they didn't give it to the government they would have easy access to it. i do, before we go. you have defended edward snowden from the beginning, here is what the president said today. >> i am not going to dwell on mr. snowden's actions or his motivations if any individual who object to his policy can explores classified information we will not be able to keep our people safe or conduct foreign policy. moreover, the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more
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heat than light. while revealing methods to our adversary i that his could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come. >> former acting director of the cia just told us that these leaks have been very damaging had in exposing american intelligence methods. what is your response to former director and to the president? >> maybe it's true. maybe his judgment is right. he hasn't told us any specifics nor has anyone else. perhaps we shouldn't expect that because after all, it's all secret, right? except that those exact same things were said about me by the president and vice president and a lot of other people. like mic mclaughlin they were sd about chelsea manning and after three years under indictment, not one specific was ever able to be brought up, validating those concerns about processes being broken and whatnot. i think we should take this with a great deal of skepticism. so far, mr. snowden has found
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the only way that that information got in to the public or to president obama as far as we can tell, through channels, he said to have been surprised that his people were listening in to angela merkel. now maybe that's true and maybe it isn't true. i would trusteed ward snowden's judgment. not that he's perfect or he's beyond criticism or mistake mis, maybe he's made miss jump little, i trust his judgment morning i do james clapper or keith alexander or diane feinstein as to what the public should know about these programs that nsa is doing based on what we have learned so far. there was no way we would find out about that any other way than through a snowden and i hope that there are others waiting to tell us of abuses. but there is a better way to find out this material than to have leakers take their lives in to their hands or face a life at best of exile. or like chelsea manning, prison. and that way would be for a new
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church committee looking to genuine investigation of the intelligence committee, better than church managed to do it. his reforms consisted of the intelligence committees, they failed to provide oversight. search led to the fisa intelligence court. that has failed, it's been a rubber stamp operating in secret. what we have to is as kirk of the formerly of the nsa has said, is a panel picked by congress, basically, in the nsa reported to congress and the jew dictionary and to the nas with fill access and full clearances people who have never been hired by the intelligence community in the past. we need, in other words, genuine oversight for the first time in a way the nsa has never had it within or out sad the executive branch. >> still you trust the judgment of a 29-year-old contract or over senators, the president of the united states, the oversight
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from congressional committees that already exist and intelligence officials? >> pardon me the president's own committee that had the judgment that they expressed not only to the president but to congress just two days ago, these included the former chief of counter terrorism in the white house, richard clark, morrell, the former head of cia, another person who was actually the one who hired jeffrey stone, who hired obama as a law profess auerbach at chicago -- >> the university of chicago. >> that he should end the bulk collection. he overruled that judge. he's being cruxed b corrupted bs office. -- >> you think the president of the united states is taking action because he thinks he needs to protect the country? >> he needs to say this he refuse today give them the
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information. in fact, he may not have known no detail. i don't think the nsa has been terribly forthcoming from all that we have heard about the president about whether they broke the law, it took fisa court judge to his report in their limited ability, and they do not have the technical capability to investigate that i have recommended here on the basis of kirk's recommendations. what i am saying is it a sad situation that it takes a 2090-year-old of great intelligence and great conscious and great patriotism to take his life in his hands to tell us this? not really. that's the way human and governments work. knowledge is power, secret knowledge of other people's secrets is power. and power corrupts. even americans. >> it's clear that debate will continue for a long time. daniel, really appreciate you joining us on the show tonight. >> thank you for the opportunity. >> coming up, why did an execution in ohio drag on for 25
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minutes? and did the increased infliction of pain constitute cruel and unusual punishment? and our social media producer is tracking the top stories on the web. what's trend? >> this year's surgeon general report on smoking shows that we have come a long way since the landmark report in 1964. i have the details for you coming up. we want to hear what you think, join the conversation throughout the show by tweeting to us at ajconsider this or post on the ground our facebook and google plus pages.
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